To put more pep in Friday’s homecoming football game in Sutherlin, the high school looked to recruit a band.
As a favor to Sutherlin, the Glide High School pep band will venture to its cross-county rival’s home field and tune up its instruments for the evening’s performance.
Sutherlin eliminated most of its music classes about five years ago because of dwindling participation and budget cuts, Sutherlin Principal Justin Huntley said, so it doesn’t have a band to support fans cheering on the Bulldogs.
“We wanted to increase school spirit,” Huntley said. “A band gives a whole different atmosphere.”
Glide band director Gale Graham heard about Sutherlin’s need and offered to lend a hand, just as Sutherlin helped Glide’s band program before any of the current students were born.
In 1985, Glide pep band had only 13 members. Sutherlin, which had a large music program at the time, invited the small group to perform with its band.
“We are paying them back for what Sutherlin already helped us with,” Graham said.
“It’s a fun thing we want to do for Sutherlin. When they were a powerhouse, they were kind to us,” he said. “The deal was, ‘Let’s get a community effort going.’”
Glide’s band now has more than 40 members.
“I think it’s awesome we are supporting them,” said senior clarinetist Mikaela Chasten, 17. “I think every school should have a music program.”
Sutherlin kept its choir program and added guitar classes last year, Huntley said.
He said he hopes Glide’s homecoming performance will grab the community’s attention.
“Years ago our band was a pretty big fixture of the school and community,” Huntley said. “(The performance) will hopefully give a spark of interest in the community to re-energize our program.”
Glide’s pep band spent Wednesday morning rehearsing for Friday’s game. Sutherlin spectators can expect to hear the usual motivational tunes, like “Go, Fight, Win,” as well as newer songs, such as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
The band also will play Sutherlin’s fight song, “Mighty Oregon.”
“It’s really cool, because we are extending a hand out. We are getting them to see the benefits of a music program,” junior clarinetist Alex Dillon said. “I felt kind of honored that they asked us to play and felt like we were noticed.”
• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
I felt kind of honored that they asked us to play and felt like we were noticed.
Alex Dillon, Glide High School junior